Hi Business Owners – Jessica Here.
I keep coming back to this metaphor time and time again because it’s really the best way to explain why your website is so important in terms of online marketing.
First, let’s talk about basic infrastructure.
Your Plot of Land | Hosting
In terms of your home, the neighborhood you live in is important. You want it to be safe. You want it to be easy to get in and out. You’d like for it to be near other desirable homes. The same is true for hosting. Your site needs to be built on a server and this is like your plot of land. Cheap hosting is slow, subject to malware, crowded and often your site is on the same IP as some XXX website. Pick a good plot of land before you build your website.
Your Address | Domain Name
This is pretty obvious since domain name and web address are used interchangeable. That said, an address that’s easy to remember, easy to spell can make a difference when “giving directions” to you home.
Your House | Website
Your business lives online, inside the house you build. Everything you do with content marketing and in-person marketing should be directing your traffic to your home. Now, what happens if that house is scary looking from the outside. Will your visitors enter? What if they get to your house and it’s not what they expected? They’ll probably keep on driving.
Maybe the outside of the house looks welcoming enough. If your visitors go inside, will they able to find the room they’re looking for or will they turn and run?
The number 1 issue we have with clients we adopt who want online marketing but continue to use their old website is . . . the house is a mess and no one wants to come or stay there.
Ever had a friend with too many cats or a knew someone who never vacuumed. They may go through a lot of effort to plan a party at their house, but even with all of the effort, you still may say, “Meh – I don’t want to go to the house that smells like cat pee. I’ve been there before. I didn’t have fun.”
Would you build your own house?
I ask this because a lot of companies will rely on their IT experts to build their site or smaller companies might try to get away with an out-of-the-box site from a hosted content management system provider.
Here’s the deal. You can build your home. It’ll take you FOREVER. You’ll make a ton of mistakes. And it’s likely that you’ll make some weird decisions along the way that will be hard to correct later (why did you put a picture window in the room that faces a fence?) Ideally, wouldn’t you at least consult with an architect and hire a contractor to help you with the complicated jobs? That’s what your website project is like. It’s a series of complicated decisions that warrant some expert oversight.
What’s your nightmare website design experience? Share your story #mybizjournal.